Thursday, January 1, 2009
Yoga Mala by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Happy New Year!
So the calendar has officially turned over, offering us a opportunity for a clean slate, to begin anew, and give us a fresh start. We start January giving up this, that or the other thing, making resolutions and promises to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, read more or whatever. Come February, most of those resolutions have tapered off, we feel bad, and come next year, we repeat the cycle.
But what would happen if instead of making resolutions, we gave ourselves permission to work with intent? Just like we come to our mat with intent, let us move into this New Year with intent.
One of my intents this year is to delve more into yogic and Buddhist philosophy. I am starting out the year with this book review: Yoga Mala by Sri K. Pattabi Jois.
This is a great little book. The first 1/4 of the book Pattabi Jois discusses yogic philosophy and practice, even including a summary of the yamas and niyamas, pranayama, who can benefit from practicing yoga (everyone!), what is yoga, and terms and definitions. This is concise without being preachy.
The remainder of the book is a breakdown of the Primary Series. He systematically moves through each posture, discussing the flow of the sequence. Each asana is accompanied by photographs of either Pattabhi Jois or Sharath, his grandson. I found the photo's fascinating - an established practitioner will be able to see how the focus on alignment has influenced today's practice.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys the ashtanga practice or a vinyasa flow practice.